General information 

Moldova is a very picturesque European country. It's green hills and pastures, small colorful villages, calm lakes, huge fields of sunflower and corn - these all are “imbued” with a kind of charm. Here grow one of the best vineyards in Europe and live the best European winemakers. A culture rich in traditions, ancient monasteries in combination with the modern life of large cities form a piquant combination, making Moldova a perspective tourist destination.



History


Until the XIV century, the territory of this small country was ruled by various state formations, whether it was the Russian Principality or the Golden Horde. However, in the second half of the 14th century, lands from the Eastern Carpathians to the Black Sea were united into an independent Moldavian principality. In the following centuries, the Ottoman and Russian empires seized power in the country. Throughout it's history, Moldova experienced several sections: the separation of Bessabariya, the separation of a separate state of Romania, the transfer of the Ukrainian SSR to Bukovina, etc. The borders of the modern state, like it's independence, were defined in 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The country was proclaimed a Parliamentary Republic, with the president headed. In 1992, the Republic of Moldova became a member of the United Nations.

 
Geographical position, nature



Moldova is located in southeastern Europe, between the Dniester and Prut rivers, bordering Ukraine (in the east) and Romania (in the west). The state is landlocked, but has access to the Danube. The length of the coastline - 600 meters. The landscape of Moldova is hilly-flat, with a small forest zone (6% of the territory), but with a large number of river valleys. The lowest point is 2 meters above sea level, the highest is 430 meters (Balanesti Hill). The main rivers of the country - the Dniester, Prut, Raut - belong to the Black Sea basin. There are also many lakes in the country, including the main ones: Beleu, Bic, Drachele. On the territory of Moldova you can find about 2300 plant species typical for the east of Europe: oak and linden, maple and poplar, barberry and hawthorn. The fauna is represented by 68 species of mammals and 270 species of birds. In the forests you can find wild boars, wolves, foxes, badgers and weasels; in the steppe zone - gophers; and in rivers and reservoirs - carp, bream, perch, perch, crucian. 


Capital, the largest cities

 
The capital of Moldova, Chisinau, is an important administrative, economic, scientific, cultural and tourist center. The date of the first documentary confirmation of the toponymic name "Chisinau" is July 17, 1436. Scientists assume that this name means "source, spring, key". From the administrative point of view, the city is divided into 5 sectors: Center, Buyukani, Botany, Riscani and Chokana. The population of Chisinau is over 752 thousand inhabitants. Other major cities are Balti, Tiraspol.



Weather and Climate 

Climate: moderately continental, with mild winters (-4 - 7°C) and hot long summers (21 - 28°C). 


Population 


The population of the Republic of Moldova is 4320000 inhabitants. Representatives of several nations and ethnic groups live in it, of which: 64.5% are Moldovans, 13.8% are Ukrainians, 13% are Russians and other ethnic groups (Gagauz, Bulgarians, Jews, Belarusians, Germans, etc.). 



Language 


According to the Constitution of the country, the official language is Moldovan, identical to the literary Romanian language. 


Economy


The Republic of Moldova is an industrial-agrarian country. The industry is based mainly on the processing of agricultural raw materials, in addition, it is represented by light, chemical, woodworking, machine and instrument-making industries. The Republic of Moldova imports mainly natural gas, petroleum products, vehicles and equipment. The reforms that were performed in recent years have led to the achievement of certain positive results, namely: the creation of a bisectoral economy, herewith the share of the private sector in creating GDP now exceeds 60%; price liberalization, the creation of structures for the functioning of the market (commercial banks, stock exchanges, free economic zones, etc.). 


Governing body 


The Republic of Moldova is a sovereign and independent, united and indivisible state. The form of government is a parliamentary republic. The Republic of Moldova is a democratic, legal state. 


Religion


The most common religion in Moldova is Orthodoxy. It's confess about 93.3% of the population.  Other religious movements in Moldova include Judaism, Catholicism (approx. 0.14%), Baptism (approx. 0.97%), Pentecostalism (approx. 0.27%), Adventism (approx. 0.40%), Islam (approx. 0.05%), Jehovah's Witnesses, unificationism, Baha'i, Messianic Judaism, Molokanism, Lutheranism, Presbyterianism and other areas of Christianity, as well as Krishnaism. There are two Mormon communities approximately with 250 people. The Jewish community consists of approximately 31.3 thousand people, of which approximately 20 thousand live in Chisinau, 3100 - in Balti and it's environs, 2200 - in Tiraspol, 2000 - in Bender.



Tourism


Tours to Moldova give a wonderful opportunity to "buck up": without traveling far from the Mother See and not spending the hard work earned by overworking, go to the nearest, but still abroad, to get a closer look at the blessed grapevine gifts (and even get wine treatment - no, no, not what you thought: take a bath), explore the centuries-old monasteries and rock sites of ancient settlements, and finally - heartily eat tasty, hearty and soulful dishes of Moldovan cuisine and take a walk around the old Chisinau. Actually, there are two items of tourist interest in Moldova: a huge number of archaeological monuments in the healing air of the Dniester banks and not less impressive number of wineries hospitably opening the doors of their treasury cellars lined with age-old webs. Tours to Moldova can be called educational and fun. It should be noted that this situation is simply magnificent: the tasting of “ambrosia” is generously diluted with being in the fresh air and familiarity with ancient sights, and the “excursion”, in turn, is not at all pitying - after all, a glass of “championing” awaits you in the evening or a glass of brandy with a fair name "Divin"! Due to the fact that tourist Moldova’s speech follows a circuitous path (everything is clear: here is a monastery, here is a winery), tours are possible here of any length - from a weekend in Chisinau and it's surroundings to a weekly program for cities and villages. For example, the usual three-day tour includes a visit to the wine complex Malye Mileshty (with it's 200-km cellars listed in the Guinness Book of Records), a sightseeing tour of Chisinau with dinner at a restaurant of national cuisine, an excursion to the ancient settlement of Old Orhei, a visit to the monastery Kurk and a visit to Capriana Monastery. Depending on the interests of the tourist, the program can “give a lurch” in one direction or another: supplement by visiting the amazing beauty of the monasteries on the banks of the Dniester or delve into the fascinating world of wine production, resulting in multi-day trips to the “cognac” north or “champagne” to the south. By the way, there are several sanatoriums in the country that offer therapeutic courses based on wine: baths, massages, wrap-ups, and, of course, moderate ingestion. Another feature of Moldova is the large number of places connected with the history of the Gypsy and Jewish people. The tour can be supplemented with an excursion to the unofficial gypsy capital - the village of Soroka, as well as a walk "on the interests" of the Jewish sights of Chisinau, closely connected with the names of the great medieval Kabbalists. Tours to Moldova are held throughout the year: in the summer, “natural” tours are popular - in wineries, monasteries and castles, and in winter, the center of attraction for tourists is Chisinau, which is incredibly wonderful at Christmas and New Year. The opportunity to choose accommodation in hotels of different levels - modest "three-sided" or excellent "fives" - allows you to save great on holiday or, on the contrary, to swing to the fullest! And whichever tour you choose, one thing is certain: Moldova will surely charm you and call you again !!!


New Year - January 1st

Christmas - January 7-8th

International Women's Day - March 8th 

Easter - April / May Labor Day - May 1st 

Victory Day - May 9th

Independence Day - August 27th 

National Language Day - August 31st 

City Day (the temple of the capital) - October 14th. 


Moldova is a country with a rich centuries-old history and culture, an integral part of which is folk festivals and related traditions. Kaleidoscope of celebrations begins in winter, with the advent of the New Year. Residents of cities and villages, with masks, walk on the streets and announce the arrival of Mosh Krechun (Santa Claus) with a bag full of presents. After the Orthodox Christmas comes the turn of Martisor - the tradiotional holiday meeting of spring. On 1st of the March, all Moldovans attach small red and white boutonniere to their chest - symbols of the awakening of nature. After Martisor, people are preparing for Easter, meeting the day of the ressurection of Jesus Christ at a rich festive table with painted eggs and Easter cakes.
Almost on every holiday in Moldova, folk festivals with carols, theater events and traditional fairs are organized. During these events, foreign tourists can become more closely acquainted with folklore, traditional costumes, handicrafts, etc




Kitchen


Traditional Moldavian kitchen, developed under the influence of several ethnic groups (Greeks, Turks, Germans, Ukrainians and Russians), is distinguished by a certain originality, richness of tastes and a variety of dishes. The basis for them are vegetables and meat. Potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, beans, peas, zucchini, eggplants are prepared in various ways and served to roasts, meatballs, mititei, poultry, turkey meat and other meat dishes. Traditional soups are cooked on vegetable decotion and meat bouillons, of which you should definitely try the "zamu" of poultry with homemade noodles, fish-soup with rice and pickle with pickled vegetables. By the way, the famous "hominy" - corn porridge with cheese, sour cream and garlic sauce - is served with the first courses. On the second are popular stuffed cabbage, meatballs, schnitzel, zrazy. Spices and herbs are added to almost all dishes: pepper, coriander, thyme and garlic. The description of traditional Moldavian kitchen would be incomplete without mentioning the flour products: platter, easter cake and pies. Pies are baked with different fillings, such as cheese, pumpkins or nuts.
Speaking about drinks, first of all it is necessary to mention the wines which became famous all over the world for their delicate taste and aroma. About 147,000 hectares of Moldovan land is occupied by vineyards. Both white and red wines are cultivated, from dry to semi-sweet and sweet. Famous local kinds - Feteasca, Galben, Tamyioasa; imported - Aligote, Chardonnay, Muscat, Pinot, Cabernet, etc. Also, do not forget about the famous Moldovan cognac and brandy: Cricova, Balti, Hincesti, Milestii Mic, Kazaklia, Chumai, Purcari, etc. 


Transport 


Chisinau International Airport is the main airport in Moldova and serves about 400 passengers per hour. On average, 15-17 flights a day. Ground journeys within the country and to neighboring countries are carried out, as a rule, by rail or road. 



Time 


Lags behind from Moscow for an hour. 


Money 


The national currency is the Moldovan Leu. 



Visa and customs control


A visa is not required for citizens of Russia to visit Moldova. When entering the country you must have a valid passport. In the case of traveling with children, it is also necessary to provide a birth certificate of the child, his foreign passport or the foreign passport of the parent in which the child is entered.
Consulates and embassies Embassy of the Republic of Moldova in Russia Address: 107031, Moscow, st. Kuznetsky Most 18 Phone: (+7 495) 624 53 53 Fax: (+7 495) 625 53 82 E-mail: moscova@mfa.md Consular Section's Address: 7, Rozhdestvenka St., Moscow, 107031 Consular Section's Phone: (+7 495) 628-10-50, (+7 495) 624-96-78 Opening hours: Monday-Friday 08:30 - 17:30 (8:30AM-5:30PM)